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Huddersfield scientist heads to the Large Hadron Collider

A HUDDERSFIELD scientist is moving to Switzerland to investigate the big bang theory.

A HUDDERSFIELD scientist is moving to Switzerland to investigate the big bang theory.

Dr Grant Christopher, 29, of Lindley, had just completed his PhD in New York when he was offered the opportunity to join the team at the Large Hadron Collider.

The LHC is a large underground proton accelerator based near Geneva that smashes two particles together at an incredible speed and temperature with the aim of proving the Big Bang theory.

The theory states that at the beginning of existence there was no matter just space and time but when two protons crashed together they made matter including earth, water, fire, animals and people.

The experiment aims to find the Higgs Boson or the God particle – that one particle which explains why matter has mass.

Dr Christopher said: “In September, I will begin a research science position affiliated with Brown University in the USA working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN facility near Geneva.

“My work will probably mean that I am going to help with the up-keep of the detector. I will be working on the Compact Muon Solenoid – or the CMS Experiment – which apart from discovering the Higgs Boson also aims to look for evidence of physics beyond the standard model including the study of extra dimensions.

“We live in a 4D world – 3D of space and 1D of time – but there could be small dimensions, curled up dimensions that we can’t see unless we use one of those experiments to find them.

“If you think about someone on a tightrope from a distance it will look 1D until you see it up close and in 2D.

“It’s like anything, you see it from a distance and it may look like it is one-dimensional but you get up close and it suddenly has extra dimensions.”

The former Greenhead College student has just finished funding himself through a seven-year PhD in Astro Particle Physics which he started in 2004 following a bachelors’ degree and Masters in natural sciences from Cambridge University.

He said: “I was originally drawn to physics because I liked the way you can coldly describe what’s going on.

“There is no ambiguity. Physics comes from experiment not conversation.

“You can’t have differing opinions, and you are working for the truth that is independent of human opinions and human ideas.”

His mum, Lynne Christopher, said: “As a child he was always going to Lindley book shop and reading absolutely everything and has always persevered with physics.

“I am so proud of him. Since he was three, it has just been the two of us and he is proof of what you can do when you work hard.”

 

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